Bonds

A landlord can ask a maximum of 4 weeks worth of rent to be used as bond.   The bond must be lodged with the Department of Building and Housing Bond Centre within 23 working days.

The bond is money that the tenant puts aside at the start of the tenancy so they have it ready at the end if they need to pay for fixing any damage that are responsible for causing. The money is given to the landlord and they send it to the Bond Centre.

 

Bond lodgement form

This tells the Bond Centre the address of the tenancy, who the landlord and tenant/s are and how they can be contacted, and how much the rent is each week. The landlord and the tenant/s must sign this form.

 

Change of landlord / agent form

If the landlord changes during the tenancy, the Bond Centre needs to know so that they have up-to-date contact information and know the new signature to expect on the Bond refund form.

 

Change of tenant form

The same purpose as the change of landlord / agent form. The refund of the bond is often delayed because tenants have changed during the tenancy and not let the Bond Centre know.   If a tenant is released from the contract during the tenancy (and other tenants remain), this change must also be recorded on the tenancy agreement.

 

Bond refund form

Tells the Bond Centre how much money to return to the tenant, and how much to give to the landlord.   The signatures on this form must match the signatures on the Bond lodgement forms.

 

Disagree about how the bond will be refunded?

The tenant is responsible for damage caused as a result of careless, negligent or deliberate behaviour.   The bond is the tenant’s money until the tenant agrees to give some or all of it to the landlord, or the Tenancy Tribunal orders how it will be refunded.   If one party applies for the bond without the consent of the other, the Bond Centre will tell the other party and invite them within 10 working days to indicate in writing whether they wish to dispute the claim.   The Bond Centre can hold the bond in dispute (refuse to release it to anyone) until the Tenancy Tribunal orders how it will be refunded.

 

Claiming the bond at the Tenancy Tribunal

Application forms for an Order of the Tribunal are available from the Department of Building and Housing; online at www.dbh.govt.nz; or ring 0800 TENANCY for a copy to be sent to you.

 

Common mistakes or problems

Thinking you are allowed to return to the property after the tenancy expires to carry any repairs or cleaning.

  • Ask for an inspection the month before the final inspection so you have time to fix any problems.
  • Move out before the last day so you can see the property empty, and have time to address any issues before you hand back the keys.
  • Have a witness / someone with you when you do the end of tenancy inspection with the landlord.
  • Do your own property inspection if the landlord will not do one with you before the tenancy ends.

Not allowing enough time to clean or move out.

  • Create a plan and tick off things as you go.
  • Have a plan B for if friends / family who have offered to help you are then not able to.

Believing you can use the bond as rent.

You must pay rent until the last day of the tenancy. If you are in rent arrears at the end of the tenancy the bond will be used to cover it. Landlords will not accept you stopping the rent on purpose before the end.

Signing a blank or incomplete bond refund form.

On the bond refund form, ‘refund details’ are written in section 4. This section is for recording how much money goes to the tenant and/or landlord. Never sign a bond refund form unless this section is filled in. Never forget that the bond is the tenant’s money and is only given to the landlord with the tenants consent.

The landlord not lodging some or all of the bond

Send the landlord a ‘10 day notice to remedy’ to lodge the bond. It is an unlawful act to not lodge the bond which means the Tenancy Tribunal has the power to fine the landlord.

Any delays in the refund of the bond are normally caused by the time it takes for the landlord to decide how much of the bond they want to claim, the time it takes to send the form, or if the landlord and tenant can’t agree on the amount to refund.

Contact the Bond Centre on 0800 737 666

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
 

Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011


Ph.(03)379-2297